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Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Sunday, 18 November 2012
in Mother Nature's Water

An Award-Winning Fishball Project

Way back in February marine biologists at Kampachi Farms in Hawaii announced they had successfullyvelella LA 62382 fishball completed the final harvest from the "Velella" Research Project.   Velella is the name of a genus of small drifting pelagic hydrozoan or the fancy words for creatures related to jellyfish that drift on the surface of the water.

I don’t know how I managed to miss the news from the farm but from the looks of it I was busy making giant penguins Google fight fat Ice Age coyotes in an effort to illustrate how much time I have on my hands.

A friend brought Kampachi Farms to my attention because he was slightly creeped out by what he called the “fishball.” The fishball was the Velella project: an unanchored brass-nettted pen known as the Aquapod, roundish in shape and 132 cubic meters in volume. Sashimi-grade kampachi fish were raised in it as it drifted along in the open ocean 3 to 75 miles offshore of the Big Island. The pen was submersible in waters of up to 12,000 feet deep and towed by a manned sailing vessel. The Aquapod was developed by Ocean Farm Technologies in Maine.

"This final harvest far surpassed our expectations," said Neil Anthony Sims, Co-CEO of Kampachi Farms. "The fish thrived in the research net pen far from shore, with phenomenal growth rates and superb fish health... and without any negative impact on water quality, the ocean floor, wild fish or marine mammals."

Kampachi is a tropical yellowtail used in sushi and sashimi but can be eaten grilled or seared for people interested in eating their food not wrapped in seaweed and with a fork.

The fish housed in the pen were fed soy and alternative agricultural proteins so they were not fed fishmeal and fish oil. No antibiotics, hormones, or pesticides were used in the fishball. The first harvest came three months ahead of schedule when the fish had reached an average of 5.6 pounds. The kampachi were healthy and sample tests showed they only had a fat content of 33% and had no noticeable traces of mercury or other contaminants. The overall mortality rate in the fishball was less than 2% compared to standard aquaculture mortality rate of 15%.

According to the press release the seven month long research period was the first time fish had been raised in U.S. Federal waters. Kampachi Farms had to obtain a special research permit from NOAA to drag the fishball through the Pacific.

At the beginning of the month the project was placed on Time magazine's "50 Best Inventions of 2012" list.

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Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. Samina and her husband believe that sustainability starts in the home and try to live their lives as simply as possible without compromising comfort.

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1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

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1945: Delivered to US Army.

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1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

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1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

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1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

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1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

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1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

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2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

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2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

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2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

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2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

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2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

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